In late 2015, a team of 18 Christian professionals stepped off a plane in a Middle Eastern country. While this was not the first time that professionals had gone to serve abroad, this trip was more unusual because the business people themselves came from a country where Christian outreach is not officially accepted.
Based on their own experiences at home, this group may have been even more sensitive to the real dangers of discussing spiritual matters in a so-called “closed” country.
Besides struggling with the local language as they attempted to make friends and get around, they also had to adjust their activities to the daily prayer schedule and other local routines. However, they found people to be very hospitable; and many even invited them to their homes to talk.
Despite the challenges and unfamiliar setting, members of the group all felt that interacting with people from such a different cultural and religious background had made a deep and positive impact on them!
Hannah, one of the team members, was surprised when a woman she had only just met declared that she did not believe in God at all (a statement that carries a severe punishment in that country). Hannah saw an opportunity to share her own story of how she came to believe in Jesus Christ after growing up as an atheist.
Another participant, Shannon, cried when the team said goodbye to their local host. Shannon had been touched by the connection of faith she felt toward the host and his family. For her, this was evidence of God’s greatness and the unity of shared faith. Shannon went home with a new group of friends in a faraway country.
For Tim, the need to send Christian professionals to that country and region became obvious, and he is considering how he can return to serve.
The rest of the group share that they are now more passionate about sharing their faith – even to people back home.
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